Rearrangements in a hydrophobic core region mediate cAMP action in the regulatory subunit of PKA.
A truncated regulatory subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase I was constructed which contained deletions at both the carboxyl terminus and at the amino terminus. The entire carboxyl-terminal cAMP-binding domain was deleted as well as the first 92 residues up to the hinge region. This monomeric truncated protein still forms a complex with the catalytic subunit, and activation of this complex is mediated by cAMP. The affinity of this mutant holoenzyme for cAMP and its activation by cAMP are nearly identical to holoenzyme formed with a regulatory subunit having only the carboxyl-terminal deletion and very similar to native holoenzyme. The off rate for cAMP from both mutant regulatory subunits, however, is monophasic and very fast relative to the biphasic off rate seen for the native regulatory subunit. The effects of NaCl, urea, and pH on cAMP binding are also very similar for the mutant and native holoenzymes. Like the native type I holoenzyme, both mutant holoenzymes bind ATP with a high affinity. The positive cooperativity seen for MgATP binding to the native holoenzyme, however, is abolished in the double deletion mutant. The Hill coefficient for ATP binding to this mutant holoenzyme is 1.0 in contrast to 1.6 for the native holoenzyme. The Kd (cAMP) is increased by approximately 1 order of magnitude for both mutant forms of the holoenzyme in the presence of MgATP. A similar shift is seen for the native holoenzyme. Further characterization of the MgATP-binding properties of the wild-type holoenzyme indicates that a binary complex containing catalytic subunit and MgATP is required, in particular, for reassociation with the cAMP-bound regulatory subunit. This binary complex is required for rapid dissociation of the bound cAMP and is probably responsible for the observed reduction in cAMP-binding affinity for the type I holoenzyme in the presence of MgATP.